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PostPosted: Mar 15th, '11, 03:12 
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merlin wrote:
Friday I called the local water authority. We have chloramines in the water. Boo! I think I will add activated charcoal in the sump right in front of the pump filter.

Last night, my wife and I started some seedlings indoors. Anybody have any bad or good experiences to share about putting peet pellet plugs into the growbeds? I'm assuming that the mess will be minimal since the peet is contained in some kind of netting.


To be expected with the Chloamines...just something we have to work around here. Getting some rainwater collection going is a must IMO. Don't worry about the peet pellets. When I transplant plants into the system, quite a bit of the dirt goes in with them - a lot more then in one of those pellets anyway.

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PostPosted: Mar 15th, '11, 05:26 
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I just read on the forum somewhere that Vitamin C can also be used for chloramines. Wonder which is most effective - Vit C or activated charcoal. Not sure if standard Vit C chewable tablets are okay or need something else. I have no fish or plants in the system yet, so no risk if the Vit C caused an ammonia spike or pH change.

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PostPosted: Mar 15th, '11, 09:46 
Chloromine will eventually disassociate into chlorine and ammonia...

Activated charcoal may remove the chlorine... but wont remove the ammonia...


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PostPosted: Mar 16th, '11, 15:10 
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We have chloramines in Austin too. For a new system, let it run/circulate for several days before adding fish, although you might be kinda surprised at how quickly you can add fish. Instead of investing in a crop of expensive fish, buy a couple dollars of rosys from the pet store and allow them to acclimate over the course of an hour or so. Once you add your eatin' fish, they will probably take care of the rosys. ;)
For an existing system, don't top-off with chloramines more than 5-10%, or else it will kill some of your fish and bacteria. Lets say my system is down 30%, I spend a day or two making small additions of tap water instead of adding it all at once, and I don't lose any fish. This happens to me often because darn rodents are messing with my plumbing and causing leaks >.<


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PostPosted: Mar 16th, '11, 21:59 
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Hey Merlin, I was reading about Vitamin C to dissipate chlorine, I think you'd still have the ammonia to deal with, and not sure that vitamin C can break up chloramine or just chlorine. We're lucky because we only have chlorine in our water and I can just offgas it over a few days.

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PostPosted: Mar 16th, '11, 22:39 
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Last year I called TDEQ and spoke to the director about chloramines...here is what I posted after the call...

After talking with the TCEQ and the science director over there, the definitive answer is that water treated with mono-chloramine disinfectant needs to be chemically treated to remove the chloramines. The side effect of all the chemical treatments WILL result in ammonia in the water. Activated charcoal cannot by itself remove them.

The other way to remove the chloamines is to allow the disinfectant to break down naturally over time. Since mono-chloramin can easily move between di-chloramine and tri-chloramine with regards to temperature and pH, the process takes a long time. The answer I got was three weeks. Exposed to UV the process speeds a little.

It was recomended I age the water for three weeks in large kiddie pools to maximize UV contact time. So perhaps I see a large water garden with perhaps some crayfish for aging water in my future. I am also going to persue rain water collection.

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PostPosted: Mar 16th, '11, 22:48 
DéjàVoodoo wrote:
After talking with the TCEQ and the science director over there, the definitive answer is that water treated with mono-chloramine disinfectant needs to be chemically treated to remove the chloramines. The side effect of all the chemical treatments WILL result in ammonia in the water. Activated charcoal cannot by itself remove them.

The other way to remove the chloamines is to allow the disinfectant to break down naturally over time. Since mono-chloramin can easily move between di-chloramine and tri-chloramine with regards to temperature and pH, the process takes a long time. The answer I got was three weeks. Exposed to UV the process speeds a little.
.


And that's the definitive answer to what's been discussed many times... :wink:

And that holds true for most of the supposed "ammonia binding" agents as well...


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PostPosted: Mar 17th, '11, 05:59 
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Three weeks isn't so bad. I have had the water in the Fishless FT and Sump for about a week or so now while I have been working on GB foundations and piping. By the time I get the GBs up and running and filled etc, it will be about the three week mark I bet. I've started seeds inside and am hoping to plant those in a couple weeks. Merkurmaniac trapped a lot of Bluegill at Bane Park (290/Gessner) over the weekend. I'm planning to see if I can do something similar at Challenger Park on my side of town. If so, those will be what I use for cycling the tanks. If I lose some, it won't have cost me anything but time.

Long term, I am going to add rainwater collection (I have acquired a rain barrel). Still working out what to do with the guttering. I'd like to use the roof, but it's new so the algaecides, fungicides, copper, zinc type stuff is fresh so I'd have to put activated carbon in the rain barrel. Don't know if that'd be enough to take care of it or not. Another option is when I add the greenhouse roof structure to put a butterfly roof with gutter in it. Only issue with that is that I'll only be using shade cloth in the summer (no roof panels). The shade cloth might be enough to collect the water though. It collects on top of the FT cover some. It's porous, but it's kind of like a tight weave. Given enough slope the water rolls downhill.

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PostPosted: Mar 20th, '11, 22:32 
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Latest Progress - inlet side plumbing roughed in and partially supported. I used a similar support scheme to my drain piping. The difference on the inlet piping supports is the inclusion of snap-on tees with a threaded coupling on top of the support stanchion. My Bell Siphons are functioning in three grow beds. I'm working on the gravel guards for the siphons. Drilling tons of small holes in the gravel guards takes a long time. I may try cutting slits on the table saw instead, but I don't want to gum up the table saw blade with melted plastic residue. Not sure if it will melt it or cut it. Any other ideas are appreciated.


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PostPosted: Mar 20th, '11, 22:41 
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After finishing the gravel guards I have hydroton ready to go. Maybe I'll have that done by the end of today?

My remaining growbeds might arrive Monday.


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PostPosted: Mar 27th, '11, 22:20 
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Latest pics. Re-did some pump supply piping. Added what I'd call a fan nozzle to the end of it so that it provides better surface disruption. Moved two beds to the remaining spots to finish the piping over there. I'm not sure if I'm satisfied with my siphon return piping on the two beds against the garage wall yet. I'll take a stop watch today and see how it's going. So far all the trials yesterday went well. Put some teflon tape on my three leaking threaded connections in the system. Had to cement one 4" elbow (return to sump line) because it was leaking. Still waiting on my final two beds. Washed and filled the GBs with Hydroton.


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PostPosted: Mar 27th, '11, 22:55 
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Went out and snapped a couple more pictures.


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File comment: Siphon Return Lines to Sump. One is a 6' run of 1" piping. Other GB overhangs the sump
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PostPosted: Mar 28th, '11, 03:43 
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Good sharp blade will cut just fine and shouldn't melt the PVC. Make a jig, draw your lines and cut away. Please be careful and wear your eye protection.

Still have too much flow to your GB's? Might want to consider a "T" and a cut-off valve to bleed off some of the water flow back to the tank.

Interesting setup. All PVC means no worries from termites, eh?

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PostPosted: Mar 28th, '11, 22:17 
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How'd the hydroton volume that you estimated work out ? Good looking piping and supports. Did you add the recycle valve at the end of the supply header to dump into the end of the 4" return ? You should post a pic of that, since its an interesting aspect of the system.


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PostPosted: Mar 28th, '11, 23:12 
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Hydroton estimates worked out as expected. 4 bags (200L) per grow bed. I have a bypass line from the FT to the sump that is visible in the pictures above. It is a tee off of the supply header/manifold directly above the sump. It has a valve in it. I leave it partly open most of the time right now since I don't have all of the beds online yet. I haven't plumbed up the recycle line to the 4" drain line yet that you mentioned merkurmaniac. I'm not sure if I really need it. It would be easy to add though if I decide to do it.

first water test results (this is 3 week aged tap water with chloramines and chlorine). no fish yet.
pH - 8.2
Amm - 0
Nitrate - 0
Nitrite - 0
Free Chlorine - 0
Total Chlorine - 0
Alkalinity - hard to read - somewhere between 40 and 120

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